UN atom body wants wider nuclear safety checks

By REUTERS
August 15, 2011 16:31

 
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VIENNA - The UN atomic agency would carry out international safety checks of ten percent of the world's reactor units over a three-year period, under a draft action plan to prevent any repeat of Japan's nuclear crisis.

The document from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), obtained by Reuters on Monday, outlined a series of measures in 10 areas to help improve global nuclear safety after the Fukushima accident more than five months ago.

While stressing that atomic energy safety was primarily a national responsibility, it signaled a strengthened role for the IAEA and its expert missions to review compliance with international reactor and regulatory standards.

Among the proposed steps in the Nuclear Safety Action Plan, the IAEA would "organize operational safety reviews ... of one nuclear power unit in ten over a period of three years". It did not give details, but the IAEA has previously suggested plants could be randomly selected for such checks. There are some 440 operating nuclear reactors in the world.

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